Security of Village Halls

Village Hall insurance policies impose minimum security requirements for community buildings and it is imperative that these requirements are met. Failure to do so can result in claims for theft not being met or the policy excess being increased either to a higher value or to a percentage of the claim amount.

An important point to note is that this increased excess would only apply in circumstances where your failure to comply with the minimum standard of security either caused or worsened a loss for damage by theft or attempted theft. So if for example a thief gained access by smashing a window then whether your locks comply with the minimum standards is irrelevant to this particular loss and the standard excess of £100 or £250 would apply.

The usual requirements are for final exit doors to be fitted with five-lever mortise deadlocks and accessible windows to have key-operated locks. Such windows would include those on a higher level but accessible from a flat roof. Windows can be screwed shut where the locks are not fitted and where appropriate.

Fire doors are excluded from the requirements and, of course, it is imperative that locks are NOT fitted to such doors!

If the key to your hall is in a key safe on the outside of the building, it is important that you tell your insurers. Some insurers do not consider key safes to meet their minimum requirements and will not cover theft if the key safe is broken into. Insurers would prefer that you give copies of your keys to regular hirers of the hall rather than relying on a key safe. You should always keep a register showing which hirers have keys and you must recover the keys when that hirer no longer uses the building.

Keypad systems are also in use on community buildings but some insurers require that:

  1. There is a handle on the lock (so that there’s a locking mechanism)

  2. You update the codes periodically

  3. Hirers input the numbers into the system manually to gain access (no wireless entry allowed)

  4. You comply with the minimum standards of security

The important thing is that you ensure your insurer knows what system you have in place for security and gives it their approval. If you are in any doubt, speak to your insurance provider.

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